Shortly after completing Turn 9 (a.k.a. the corkscrew) at Laguna Seca, this Mazda Miata piloted by a student driver spun a full 360-degrees and managed to pull out an epic recovery.
The internet is chock full of videos of novice racecar drivers fully committing to a turn only to either understeer or oversteer out of control either because of a lack of experience or track conditions weren’t all that ideal. Earlier this week J13N uploaded a video titled, “How to apex like a boss! Epic recovery at turn 9 Laguna Seca) which showcases his NB Miata, as the title says, recovering epically in an oversteer situation that could’ve turned out a lot hairier. Check out his video below.
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Turn 9 is infamously known as the corkscrew and as intimidating as it may seem, for those who’ve actually drove on that particular turn they usually describe the turn itself as a low-speed, consistent corner. The part that gives drivers trouble is the next turn which is an accelerating corner with camber that is constantly changing. Suffice to say, it’s pretty much spinout city.
Keen-eyed viewers and those experienced enough to know what’s happening can posit that this was a case of lift-off oversteer where the drivers literally lifts off the gas. In a rear-wheel drive application, you can imagine that the traction that once was focused on the rear tires has now transferred grip to the front wheels thus leaving little traction for the rear wheels. In those situations, the rear will “come around on you” and you’ll quickly find yourself facing the opposite direction with little change in direction no matter how much steering input you put in.
According to the driver on the Reddit thread where this video first surfaced,
"This was my first time on the track and I really had no idea what I was doing. =p Having an instructor helped a ton and I am happy to say I am better at track driving now (still not good). It wasn’t a lift-off oversteer. I mistakenly accelerated mid-turn and spun out. And you are right. The guy behind me should have slowed down instead."
Thankfully, as he mentioned, an instructor was with him to point out what he did wrong so he could rectify his mistakes the next time round.